Transformation of the Brunswick neighbourhood in Manchester is now nine years into its 25-year masterplan, as the consortium behind the £106m programme celebrates this major milestone.
Originally built in the 1960’s for Manchester City Council, the area was in need of transformative regeneration, so the S4B consortium was commissioned to carry out the 25-year project.
The S4B consortium is made of four specialist organisations, North West housing association Onward Homes, repairs and maintenance specialist, Mears, construction firm Vistry Partnerships and led by independent investor Equitix.
Since its launch in 2014, S4B has refurbished more than 650 council homes, built 500 new properties for sale and rent, along with a 60-apartment purpose built Extra-Care scheme for the over 55s and a new housing office development with 18 apartments and new shops, plus completely overhauling its four iconic high-rise blocks.
The majority of refurbished homes have benefitted from new efficient heating systems, double glazing, cavity wall and loft insultation and tower blocks have external wall insulation and new efficient communal heating systems.
All new build properties are built to energy performance certificate (EPC) B and Code for Sustainable Homes 4, and include solar panels, insulation, efficient heating systems and double glazing. The Extra Care Facility which is built to Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Very Good rating includes combined heat and power (CHP), car charging points and solar panels.
The new homes will help to deliver Manchester’s residential growth strategy, providing much-needed quality housing in the city. As 2023 unfolds, the building element of the project will be coming to an end, with residents now reaping the benefits and seeing the advantages of the works that have taken place during the past nine years.
But S4B isn’t just about bricks and mortar: there is so much more on offer and so much has been achieved. As well as providing new homes, the area has been transformed into a thriving new community with play areas, allotments and a community orchard with over 700 trees planted by the end of 2023.
Over the past nine years, S4B has also helped residents with their finances who are now over £1m better off thanks to financial advice from the team, along with supporting 250 local people into work and 100 into trainee roles.
Each year S4B works closely with local community groups such as Brunswick Tenants and Residents Association (BTARA) and Manchester Young Community Champions (MYCC) to provide many events such as fun days and sports activities especially during the holidays. There are also community group sessions working with local partners such as Brunswick Church and Chorlton on Medlock Allotment Society (COMAS).
The consortium is committed to working with its local partners to continue to redevelop the area, with a programme of improvements already planned for 2023, including new kitchens and bathrooms, roof works, windows and doors, boilers, and improvements to communal spaces.
S4B is working with Manchester City Council to develop a project specific sustainability strategy during 2023-2024.
Resident Karina McLoughlin has lived in Brunswick all her life and said:
“Brunswick has changed in the last 9 years in a positive way. The new community spaces and events for families are great as they bring the community together. It now looks cleaner and alleyways being blocked off makes it feel safer.
"From my Mum moving into the first phase of the new builds to the last houses being put up, even though we’ve lived through the building work it certainly does not feel it like it’s been nine years and it’s been worth it to see this positive change for our area. We love it here”.
Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, said:
“We know that full estate transformations can’t happen overnight, which is why we needed the long-term commitment over the last 9 years of each of the organisations involved to deliver the changes to the Brunswick neighbourhood, and build new affordable housing in this area too. Homes for both sale and rent, and alongside homes for older people and families, this investment programme is building an attractive, high-quality neighbourhood for residents at all stages of their life.”
Louise Blanchflower, S4B senior contract manager said:
“It’s been a fantastic nine years for S4B and many improvements are already making a real difference to residents living in the area.
“Everybody involved is very proud of Brunswick and the neighbourhood is being completely transformed to provide quality homes, local facilities and so much more. It’s been a real pleasure to work with local residents in these first nine years and we look forward to delivering many more improvements as S4B goes from strength to strength.”